Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Montoya As Music Man; What Will He Sing? Insiders: Vigil Hanging Tough; Plus: National Election Results, Some Short Takes And Your Right To Speak Out 

The plea bargain deal of ex-Treasurer Michael Montoya, cut with the feds Tuesday, came as no surprise to blog readers. Our insiders predicted it weeks ago when they said his hiring of lawyer Jackie Robins pointed to a plea and they had it right. But what now? Former Treasurer Robert Vigil could also take the plea bargain route, but politicos who say they have talked to friends and family members of the indicted Vigil say that is not likely.

A Vigil ally told me Vigil, who resigned rather than face impeachment charges in the State House, has been urged to expand his legal team beyond attorney Sam Bregman. "He needs a lawyer or lawyers with extensive criminal trial experience. Bregman is not gong to be able to shoulder this alone."

For now Vigil is hanging tough. Bregman again reiterated that the Ribera, NM native looks forward to his "day in court." One insider said the question now is "how much Michael sings and if it will mean charges against others" in the biggest scandal in NM political history. Another question is what jail time, if any, will Montoya get.
Stay tuned.


Dems take the Guv chairs in Jersey and Virginia. California results here.


A Santa Fe wall-leaner checks in recently regarding the health of State Rep. Don Whitaker (D-Lea), chairman of the important tax committee. "I am reporting that Don made his first appearance in several months. He attended the tax committee in Santa Fe and looks great, is sharp and on top of his game." Don's health took a dip earlier this year prompting speculation that he might resign his seat. He has not yet announced his election plans for 06.'...Friends of 88 year old ex-State GOP ABQ NE Heights Rep. John McMullan are mourning his passing. He served 18 years in the House...And why hadn't the Big Bill TV spot touting the tax rebates been corrected as of last night? The mistake in the spot--the size of the rebates--was reported Monday. What do they call that media team? "The Turtles"?....ABQ Metro Court's Janet Blair to return to City Hall as Mayoral spokeswoman? She did the job in Mayor Marty's first term. Insiders say Deborah James is set to retire and Blair may be moved back to the "press conference a day" chair.


Some love to bash it, that good ol' First Amendment that gives us the right to scribble and broadcast. Sure, the airwaves are sometimes polluted and the print can get sensational. But what's the alternative? You get the point. And so does teenager Natalie Klein of ABQ's La Cueva High. At this weekend's annual bash of the NM Foundation for Open Government, Natalie took first prize in the First Amendment essay contest. Give her a listen:

'Without the freedom to circulate ideas in word and writing, the people have lost their power to create their own government...the right to assemble peacefully gives the people a place where the simmering catalysts of free speech and press can begin to boil the waters of public life and prevent stagnated democracy."

You got it right, Natalie. And thanks for the reminder.

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